good morning. and welcome to mosaic. the jewish community as well as any other faith community across the country looks at ways it can be very brandt and remain effective and meaningful to the community at large. a al organize presents and award each year that is called the sling shot award that honors and recognizes invasion nationally. and this morning, we're happy to present to you four people of that been recipients of the sling shot award. two of them today are arthur -- of a wider bridge that tries to
create a bridge between israel. and this is an organization that brings people to summper camps. what is the sling shot award? >> thank you for the opportunity to be with you here this morning. over the last decade, there's been an explosion of new jewish entrepreneurial activities, people particularly in the younger generation building a jewish community. and sling shot is an attempt to honor the best of the best of those. and it's a message to people looking to invest in the cutting age of the jewish community and these are 50 organizations that are worth your time and that represents the future and the vibrantsy of the jewish community. and a wider bridge was selected for this because we have taken two of the most pressing issues in the jewish community, meaningful relationships in
israel and we created them into one platform. isreal is our homeland and we bright what the community in israel has accomplished in the last 25 years and we want to be a part of that isreal is a welcoming place for people. >> so what makes sling shot unique is that it is composed of young fill people. and it's great to provide access to people like arthur and i that are thinking about giving charitably. and i think it was selected because we are engaging in summper camps that allow the young adults recently participate in campers or counselors or have friends that
participate in t and we're -- in it. and we're dealing with gardens here and growing food. and this generation is particularly intentional about the issues of climate change and healthy eating and future illnesses that are our country might have if we don't recty -- recollect if fix them. >> what does amir do with the summper camps? there's a difficult with staff retention. so staff coxs for one or twotor three years and then they leave. in the efforts to have garden initiatives that last for 20 to 40 years, camps are really
struggling. and it recruits college kids from university across the country and we train them to be garden educators at camps. so we recruit them, tran them and dispatch them to the camp across the country building a farming core. and the mission is to inspire and empower youth to serve others and we're doing this by cultivating of farmers that are teaching thousands of kids at camps each summer. >> that is fascinating. >> does amir bring its own curriculum to the summer camp? >> absolutely. >> and what is the latest development with a wider bridge? >> our mission is for jews to deepen their connection with israel and north america. so during the year, we bring
israeli leaders and artists and activists from all over the u.s. to speak about their work and give people a taste of israeli lpdg life and israel and north america. and i think we want to talk about the trip that we lead. we just came back from israel. there's a photo of the group really proud of the diversity that we brought on the trip. we had 22 people. it was the youngest group that we had and the most diverse. and our stories are diverse. but the theme that comes out is that the jews want a sense of home in their life. they want to be jewish and lbtg
all at once. >> david and arthur, we're off to a wonderful start. police join us when we come back on mosaic. [ wind howling ] [ female announcer ] it balances you... [ water crashing ] ...it fills you with energy... and it gives you what you are looking for to live a more natural life. in a convenient two bar pack. this is nature valley... delicious granola bars made with the best ingredients in nature.
access to groups of otherwise seem to be of a particular niche, people that are the summer camp and interest in gardening and the the environment. i'm wondering how you think about that issue from the perspective of the organizational structures and how you offer what you do? >> i started the wider bridge because i had a sense that israel had become a topic that we were starting to avoid in the community. for we talked about it at all, it was an arguement. it was so important for jewish life. i knew some of the people that wanted something deeper and deeper meaningful connection. and so i knew what a vibrant community there was in israel and how much there could be agained by enabling our -- to be gained by enabling our two
communities together. >> and david? >> there's a need and a desire among jewish communities to have great community gardens. each community would interact with the garden differently. we're enabling the communities to access the garden space. so similarly to how arthur it providing access to israel in a different way, i think amir is providing access to the garden and the space in new ways. >> it seems like a part of what you're doing is how to engage people in this particular case in the jewish identity development and having points of access and how to be a part of a peoplehood.
in the mostly tear recall sense, isreal is real on any different levels for literal jewish peoplehood. and it has a lot to do with how we relate to the environment and the world around us and how we engage those things in our world and there's nothing more basic than our relationship to the lapped and the earth. and i'm wondering, i'm wondering what kind of changes do you see in the folks that you've been or successful in bringing through your front door? what do you see as part of the identification changes that happen when somebody engages in a project at a summer camp like work in the garden or someone comes in the wider bridges door? >> there's two groups of people i'm like to talk about here.
one are the campers that interact with the garden and participate in the program. and they get and awareness. and they get and enlightment that they otherwise didn't have. then we have the amir farmer, the college kid that is running the program. and they are jolted into new phases of their life where they are recommitted to pursuing work in the social justice field, pursuing work in public policy or education after reasoning and leading our program at a camp. so we're interim pacting -- impacting the kids at the camp that participate in the programming and they the amir farm clipper that is impacted profoundly. >> we have a minute. what would you say that people
come through the door of a wider bridge? >> let me share one story. on the last trip to israel we had a young man named michael. he is 21 years old. he came out and his family put him in therapy and it continued in therapy in the united states. and he was part of a group of people that were celebrating their jewish identity. i think it's that sense of completeness that we're bringing to our participants, a sense that there's a role for them as jews but that we are connected to the whole jewish peoplehood. our you'll haves are inclusion
and pluralism and engagement and that all of isreal is responsible for one of another. we see the deepest manifestation of the jewish people. >> thank you very much. we'll take a break and say good- bye to david and arthur and welcome to two people in this vibranttowning conversation about how innovative organizations engage the jewishish community. please join us back here in one moment.
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but served the entire west bay through mountain view and sarah what is the executive direct to have an organization called cava. and they create networks of jewish study groups through the bay area. welcome sarah and david. let's jump in. what do you and what is your organization all about? >> so our mission is to learn jewish movement. and the maniac first we do right now is we try to them power people that are interested in starting their own jewish study group on the topic of their choice and we do that by providing them access to really high quality jewish educators and sort so that they can create an ongoing regular jewish study group that meetings in their home or other jewish organization on a we go
basis. >> and david, your department at the jewish living works? >> yes. in the organization we put everything that we put under this big umbrella that has a number of bigger programs. and we work with synagogues, day schools and preschools within the given region. we're working to build their capacity to serve families with special needs an open up those communities to families with special needs in a more inclusive and warm way. and we have a special needs family camp that we run each year at camp newman and other various opportunities for raining and education through the bay area. >> and both of you are among recipients of the national sling shot reward. what makes each of your organizations structures and
offers innovative and unique to the community? >> i think there are two things that is unique. we're based around the premise, for most jews it's hard to have access to a high quality jewished indicator that is educate in the text and makes them compelling to a contemporary audience. so we spend a lot of time building out a network of who we think are the best and dynamic and charismatic educators in the bay area. and then we deployment them. and the second thing that is unique about our motto is that we have a grass routes approach. so unlike most adults education organizations that sponsor classes and reason classes and whoever is interested can just show up, we really start with the people and their own networks and we try to them power them. >> interesting. so you start with the learners themselves and go from there?
>> exactly. >> and david? >> i think we include one of the things that is particularly -- [ no audio ] >> it is an ego symptom approach. we we have the feeling that all of these kids that start out in preschool and go into religious schools are a lot of the same kids and family and the regional programs really take that approach. and we work with all of the institutions in the region to help them combine their resources and be able to serve that community as a whole. we also partner very closely with federation, the jewsish community fed vacation san francisco base. and that is a unique partnership because we put things on together and we take primary responsibility for the programming and they're involved in what we do as far as helping us get our programming out to the community. i think this idea of everyone
working together across the denominations and the institutions. and i think it's a really wonderful aspect of our program. and i would also say that the special needs camp program that doesn't really exist in other places that is a weekend program for kids that have special needs and can come and be jewish and get support from each other and other people know what they go through and it provides a strong home away from home for them and i think that is great. >> we'll take a quick break and come back to mosaic in one moment. ,,
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welcome back to mosaic. we're in the middle of a wonderful conversation with sarah is the direct to have an organization called keva. and david newfelt. welcome back. what do each of you say about your particular context? why education? why is jewish education the doorway for the community? >> i think that education is a powerful and anecdote. most of us have that it is not that smart or interesting or relevant. it's sort of this tag, identity tag that we care with with us and we don't know what it means or y and i think there's a
sense of lack of disconnect with the identity. so part of what happens once you start learning classical jewish text you have this wonderfuller engagement and empowerment and ownership that this is mine. this is my tradition. it's flexible and playful and complicated. and once people enter into that, then it has a really powerful and transformative impact on their own impact as jews. >> and david? >> i think education and educational environments whether their formal or informal, i think often provide the first entree into the jewish community aside from the family. but education is so core that we as a people stand for. and i think what has happened within the special needs community for a lung time, a lot of families that had kids with special needs felt sort of not a part of that because --
mostly because synagogues and other institutions did not have the capacity to serve them and the knowledge of how to do it they were told there's not a place for you in our he had cake -- our educational system. and the families feel a strong missing connection to their people. and we want to bring education to all jews regardless of learning challenge or disability of any kind. once you have that at the core, everything can go from there. and if that is going from the bar bar miss if a and having a strong jewish community. >> i'm reminded that judaism at the core has the sum agency that everybody learned no matter how you learn.
and whether you're in a category that education contact categorizes a natural learner reading a text and engaging in that framework that judaism that everybody learns and everybody in some way has the right to the access of learning about our tradition. and it seems to me that you represent important spectrums of that trojecttory for the sake for the community at large. >> i think for us, once you're engaged with learning then you feel empowered to take ownership of all other aspects of your religious life. so it's hard to feel like lighting candles is that interesting, relevant or meaningful. but if you're learning where historically that tradition
came from and what is it supposed to symbolize then it's a rich activity. >> i think that is part of it. and i think having access to the traditions, not only the reasons behind them but participating in the worldwide community of folks doing the same thing that you do is our birth right and responsibility to make sure that everyone has access to. >> we have a few seconds left. if somebody wants to access each of your respective organizational structures how do they contact keva? >> go to our website. we have a group all over the the bay area. so please contact us. >> and our is jewishlearning.org.
and go to the section for families or educators and do a search for special needs. >> thank you very much. it's a comma in the conversation. we hope this morning has stimulated to you contact one of the organizations to get more information how to engage yourself in jewish life in this community. thank you very much.
welcome for bay sunday. and if you have a show idea go to our website, cbs5.com and scroll down to bay sunday. we have three nonprofits and a local business owner that used a nonprofit organization to help her get loans for her oakland based business. welcome fred chris. thank you for joining us. >> thank you very much for the invitation. >> tell us about pass star. >> pass star is an on that was thought up by my frnd